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Shiv Lal Kalra Vs. Dewak Ram and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal Nos. 165 of 1976
Judge
Reported in14(1978)DLT63
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantShiv Lal Kalra
RespondentDewak Ram and anr.
Advocates: Maheshwar Dayal and Arun Kumar, Advs
Cases ReferredKumari v. Sh. Lalit Kumar Vijay
Excerpt:
tenancy - eviction - section 14 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - appeal against order upholding eviction - landlords established premises let for residential purpose required bona fide by landlord for occupation as residence for himself and family - held, appeal against order upholding eviction liable to be set aside. - - (5) the additional controller found that manakpura house, in which dewak ram gupta is living, is situated in a slum area and that it is comparatively an unhygienic locality and thereforee he could not be denied living in a more hygienic locality and in a better house. he has a right to live in a better locality......however, at the time of its purchase only one portion was vacant and it was occupied by 0m prakash gupta. dewak ram gupta and his wife always wanted to live with their son 0m parkash gupta and his family but due to shortage of accommodation in this house they .could not shift there and had to live at a considerable distance. because of their old age, dewak ram gupta and his wife want to spend the rest of their lives with their son and the members of his family. (3) the tenant resisted the eviction application on various grounds. it was averred that dewak ram gupta was in occupation of the entire property bearing municipal no. 10350, manakpura, delhi. (4) during the eviction proceedings before the additional controller, kanwar bhan chhabra, another tenant of the landlords, vacated his.....
Judgment:

V.D. Mishra, J.

(1) This second appeal is directed against the order of the Tribunal upholding the eviction order passed by the Controller.

(2) Dewak Ram Gupta and his son 0m Prakash Gupta (hereinafter referred to as 'the landlords' own house No. 12018, ward No. XII. Shakti Nagar, Delhi. Shiv Lal Kaira (hereinafter referred to as 'the tenant') is a tenant on the second-floor of this house. The landlords filed an application under section 14(1)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act against the tenant on the ground that 'the premises let for residential purposes are required bona-fide by the landlord-petitioner No. 1, for occupation as a residence for himself, his wife and family of petitioner No. 2'. It was averred that the landlords had bought the premises in dispute for their own residence. However, at the time of its purchase only one portion was vacant and it was occupied by 0m Prakash Gupta. Dewak Ram Gupta and his wife always wanted to live with their son 0m Parkash Gupta and his family but due to shortage of accommodation in this house they .could not shift there and had to live at a considerable distance. Because of their old age, Dewak Ram Gupta and his wife want to spend the rest of their lives with their son and the members of his family.

(3) The tenant resisted the eviction application on various grounds. It was averred that Dewak Ram Gupta was in occupation of the entire property bearing Municipal No. 10350, Manakpura, Delhi.

(4) During the eviction proceedings before the Additional Controller, Kanwar Bhan Chhabra, another tenant of the landlords, vacated his tenancy premises consisting of one room and one kitchen on the ground-floor of the property in question. One Swaran Lata also vacated one room on the top floor of the same house.

(5) The Additional Controller found that Manakpura house, in which Dewak Ram Gupta is living, is situated in a slum area and that it is comparatively an unhygienic locality and thereforee he could not be denied living in a more hygienic locality and in a better house. He was found to be of 60 years of age and his anxiety to live with his only son could not be brushed aside lightly. Kawar Bhan Chhabra was found to have vacated his tenancy premises as alleged by the tenant but these were found to have been handed over to Shiv Charan Gupta, grandson of Dewak Ram Gupta, who had been transferred to Delhi. These were, thereforee, in use and occupation of that grandson and his family. Swaran Lata was found to be living in Gurnti measuring 4' x 5'. This portion is now occupied by a servant of the family. The Additional Controller, thereforee, allowed the petition and ordered the eviction of the tenant.

(6) On appeal the Tribunal upheld the finding of the Additional Controller and dismissed the appeal.

(7) During the pendency of the present appeal the tenant appellant moved application C.M. No. 97 of 1978. He requests that events subsquent to the filing of the eviction petition be taken into consideration while deciding the appeal. These are as follows : It is alleged that the eviction petition was mala-fide since the tenant had got the standard rent of the premises fixed at Rs. 30.00 per mensern instead of Rs. 65.00 per mensern which he was initially paying. It is further averred that one Onkar Singh, another tenant, had vacated one room and a kitchen on the ground-floor, and respondent 0m ' Prakash Gupta had taken over its possession. It is stated that since the filing of the eviction petition three daughters of respondant 0m Parkash Gupta have been married. So he has now four sons and one daughter with him. Dry latrines of Manakpura house have since been converted into flush latrines. The respondents, in reply, stated that the ex-parte order fixing the standard rent at Rs. 30.00 per mensern has since been set aside and the respondents filed asuit for the recovery of rent at the rate of Rs.65.00 permensem. The Civil Court decreed the suit and held that the respondents are owners and landlords of the property in dispute qua the present tenant-appellant. The room vacated by Onkar singh is stated to have a height of only 64 feet, has no ventilator or window and is not fit for human habitation. It was not denied that three daughters of respondent 0m Parkash Gupta have been married but since then the grandson of Dewak Ram Gupta, who is married and has three children, had been transferred to Delhi and is now living in the same house. Other sons have since grown up and are aged 18 and 20 years and the unmarried daughter is aged 14 years.

(8) I find that most of the facts mentioned in the application have already been taken into consideration by Tribunal.

(9) Mr. Maheshwar Dayal, learned counsel for the tanant appellant, contends that the eviction petition is mala-fide since the appellant had succeeded in getting the standard rent of the premises in his occupation fixed at Rs. 30.00 per mensem instead of Rs. 65.00 per mensern which he was paying. He has however, not denied the fact that the ex-parte order fixing the standard rent at Rs. 30.00 per mensern has since been set aside and that the landlords- respondents' suit for the recovery of rent at the rate of Rs 65.00 per mensern has since been decreed against the appellant and that the decree has become final. thereforee, there is no force in this contention. Moreover, asking for eviction after the standard rent has been fixed at a lower rate, cannot by itself be termed mala-fide. The landlord may bona-fide decide to live himself in those premises because of the lower income which he might be getting from the tenants because of the fixation of standard rent. (SeeSmt.SaroJ'Kumari v. Sh. Lalit Kumar Vijay 1969 R. C. J. 196.

(10) The second contention of Mr. Maheshwar Dayal is that respondent 0m Parkash Gupta is not a coowner with his father Dewak Ran Gupta. He submits that a declaratory decree obtained by 0m Parkash Gupta against his father about the joint ownership of the house is a collusive decree. The Tribunal has found that the decree was not collusive. This finding is on a question of fact and cannot be assailed on second appeal. Moreover, as already stated, the landlords-respondents have obtained a decree for the arrears of rent against the appellant.

(11) The last contention of Mr. Maheshwar Dayal is that since the prayer in the eviction petition was based on the bona-fide need of respondent Dewak Ram Gupta, so his conduct in handing over the portions of the house which fell vacate during the proceedings, to his grandson demonstrates his malafides. I am afraid this is not the correct appreciation of the eviction petition filed by the respondents. Both the respondents had claimed the ownership of the house and to be the landlords. As already stated, the ground on which the eviction was sought, was for the residence of Dewak Ram Gupta, his wife and family of 0m Parkash Gupta repondent. It is, thereforee, not correct to say that the requirement was only that of Dewak Ram Gupta respondent.

(12) Simply because Dewak Ram Gupta did not come to occupy the portions vacated by Kanwar Bhan Chbabra and Onkar Singh and handed them over to his grandson who had been transferred to Delhi and was in need of residential accommodation for his family consisting of a wife and three children, does not mean that the requirements were not bona-fide. Admittedly, no portion of the house, which fell vacant after it was bought, had ever been let out to any tenant. They have all been used for the residence of the family members, 0m Parkash respondent has as many as eight children. Though three daughters had been married during the pendency of the proceedings, his son with his family had been transferred to Delhi and had started living in the same premises. Onkar Singh has vacated only one living room. It is said to be 6' feet high having no ventilator or window. It was shown as a cow-shed in the plan Exibit Aw 3/4 filed by the respondents with their eviction petition. This was never controverter during the proceedings. This room evidently is a cow shed and simply because at one time a person accepted to take it on rent for his residence, does not mean that the room has since become fit for human habitation. It is a notorious fact that due to paucity of living accommodation in Delhi people agree to live not only under unhygienic conditions but also in places which are meant only for animals.

(13) Dewak Ram Gupta cannot be forced to live in a slum area. He has a right to live in a better locality. Conversion of dry latrines into flush latrineg does not by itself make a very material change in the living conditions. Moreover, in his old age he cannot be denied the comfort of living with his only son.

(14) The result is, the appeal is dismissed. The parties are directed to bear their own costs.


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